Note: HK magazine has a 2-pg article for JYJ’s court case, a very positive report.
In this age of K-Pop, idol groups are as numerous as stars and they go beyond South Korea and attract attention from the world. To the managing companies, every group is like the goose that laid the golden eggs, of course they would hold on to the groups as tightly as they could. However, idols are human too, when facing treatments that they feel are unfair, they would appeal and fight for themselves. SM Entertainment’s TVXQ is a prime example of this. In 2009, three of the five members, Yoochun, Jaejoong and Junsu, decided to part from the company and use their initials JYJ as their group name while fighting against their previous company. In July 2009, JYJ filed for injunction on the validity of their contracts with SM while SM requested JYJ to compensate. This lawsuit went on for nearly three years, and the court had ordered SM to not interfere with JYJ’s activities. After the seven adjudications over the past years, the Korean court originally decided that the final verdict will be scheduled on September 13th, but the verdict was again postponed, which signals that this case perhaps would not end anytime soon.
K-Pop groups always have a splendid surface, but the sweat and tears outside of stage are rarely made known to the public. Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu’s decision to part from SM was one of the biggest events on K-Pop history. For three young men to fight against a wealthy and powerful managing company, it’s almost like for a child to take on a giant, but this also made the Korean media begin to pay attention to the conditions of the contracts between idols and their managing company. Since the formation of JYJ, though they continued to release albums and conduct concerts, they are yet able to appear on public television in South Korea, let alone the major award ceremonies at the end of the years. Korean media generally suspect this to be a result of SM’s manipulation, as Super Junior and SNSD belong to SM, and due to the significance of their appearances on television, the broadcast stations perhaps find the need to cooperate. Interestingly, although JYJ are unable to appear on music shows, their participation in dramas are not interfered with. Jaejoong’s ‘Protect the Boss’ and Yoochun’s ‘Rooftop Prince’ both received positive feedbacks and allowed them to gain even more popularity.
Even more popular then TVXQ
JYJ’s exclusion from music shows did not influence their sales in albums. Their first album ‘The Beginning’ and second album ‘In Heaven’ both sold for about 350,000 each. Their individual activities were never on pause, either. Out of the three, Junsu, who has not participated in a drama yet, is the busiest recently. After his solo album ‘Tarantallegra’ released in May, he began his world tour – came to Hong Kong at the end of August, held a concert in LA on September 3rd, and even during his world tour, he performed in two musicals. Korean media point out that even though JYJ is facing all sorts of obstacles in promoting their music, what SM did not expect was that JYJ’s album sales, commercial contracts, and activities were not only uninfluenced, but surpassed that of TVXQ. Some critics even think that as of the situation now between JYJ and TVXQ, some fans actually think that JYJ is more similar to TVXQ than the current TVXQ which only has two members, and would not care who actually claims possession to the name itself.
SM has no rights to interfere with JYJ activities
As JYJ and SM began the lawsuit, and through many arbitration sessions that were unable to establish common ground, the court has ordered that SM has no rights to interfere with JYJ activities. Even so, JYJ are still unable to escape being banned from public television. On November of last year, their performance on the closing ceremony of the 2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships, broadcasted by KBS, was the only time where they performed their music on public television. Jeju government originally planned to appoint JYJ as their ambassador, but changed plans last minutes which attracted quite a bit of suspicion. It seemed that the lawsuit was going to finally end soon, but the final verdict was again postponed on September 13th, whether if this delay would allow the two side to reach common ground, is a question left unanswered.
[Unrelated parts omitted]
Scan Credit/Tip: Naicha70 (@naicha_kun)
Translated by: G.fanns of JYJ3
Shard by: JYJ3